A Homily for the 25th Sunday of the Year
Today’s gospel tells of workers who put in long hours then gripe about their pay.
What comes to mind when you hear the word, work? Puttin’ in time? Punchin’ a clock? Another day, another dollar?
If so, follow the gospel’s nudge and take the commute to that place where you file reports, plug in data, take inventory or wait on customers. When you get there, ask yourself, Is this job worth the pay? Or, better yet, Is this job paving my way to Heaven?
No matter if you lay asphalt, bale hay or weld metal; no matter if you teach math, change tires or change bedpans; no matter if you make investments, make meals or make a home, your work is necessary and important.
And it is holy.
I recall a Franciscan sister describing Mass in the African village where she once served: “At Offertory, everyone leaves the building to gather the gifts they left at the door. Then they carry their offerings—squawking chickens, baby goats, bushels of corn—up the aisle, singing and swaying, to the altar of God!”
Let’s follow their example as best we can. If you happen to have a family to feed, imagine a cereal box next to the chalice on the altar. If you’re a roofer, set your gloves beside the Missal. If you drive a truck, drop your keys on the paten with the hosts.
Nurses, imagine bathing a patient when you see the priest washing his hands. Retirees, arrange a rosary near a candle for all the prayers you prayed for your family this past week.
Yes! Bring your laundry soap, step ladders and hard hats to the altar of God. Why? Because this is where your labor is given eternal meaning and purpose.
Your daily work is your daily gift to God. At every Mass, your labor is joined to the soul-saving overtime work of Christ, son of a carpenter, friend of fishermen and Savior of the world.